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« Setting up your camera Part VI | Main | Setting up your camera Part IV »

Setting up your camera Part V

ISO 200


In past installments, setting up Image Quality, White Balance and Color Space 
in your camera menus were discussed.


In this installment, the focus is on the ISO, or sensitivity of the sensor in a digital camera.  It is similar to film speed in mechanical cameras, in that it measures sensitivity to light.


With film cameras, you would change films to be able to work with higher sensitivity materials.  In digital, you simply change the setting in the camera menu.  As a rule of thumb, as the ISO number goes up, there is more artifacting or noise in the image that is produced.  Therefore, unless the desire is there to create that effect, the photographer is best served to use the lowest ISO possible under the circumstances.  Most cameras have ISO ratings from 100-1600, with DSLR's often having ratings from 50 to 6400 or higher.


ISO 800


Here are cropped photographs taken with an ISO of 200, and 1600 in Denver in Montclair Park.  Notice the coarse pattern within the snow.  In film terms this would be called grain.  In digital, it is called Noise.


ISO 200
ISO 1600

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    Setting up your camera Part V - home - A Better Photograph

Reader Comments (1)

Allen, Thank You, the whole ISO world can be confusing and this definitely helps clear the air for. I really enjoy your site and looking forward to more.

February 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Dunn

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